Recently I was on a fact-finding mission at Nordstrom. That's what I call it when I'm actually shopping for shoes but telling my husband that I'm just looking for sewing inspiration. In reality, it's a bit of both. :P In this case, I spotted some great, casual shorts in the Madewell section that I knew I could easily copy(ish).
The style is nothing new - short, athletic-style shorts with an elastic waist, curved hem and slash pockets. I considered a couple patterns that are very similar to this, but ultimately, I decided to go with Simplicity 1377 which I had previously muslined but never worked on beyond that initial fitting. I figured that all I'd have to do was straighten the pockets (the original line is curved) and add the curve to the hem.
I made a size 12 which corresponded to my measurements. The back rise might be a bit short for anyone with a curvier bum - but I do not have much going on in that area, so it works perfectly for me. Here are the specific changes I made:
- Straightened the slash pocket openings
- Did a line of topstitching along the center-front seam for a little extra detail
- Traced around a saucer to curve the side seam edges
- Did a narrow hem around the bottom edges BEFORE sewing together at the side seams (and after sewing the crotch seam)
- Completed a second row of topstitching around the curved bottom hem because I didn't catch all of it in my stitching the first go and was too lazy to rip/redo.
- Bartacked where the side curves came together for extra strength.
I had originally planned to bind the curved edges with bias binding, but I simply didn't have enough fabric to do so.
The fabric is a lovely, rustic linen that I upcycled from a large women's skirt I purchased at Value Village for $6 I think. I LOVE shopping the women's dresses and skirts for great linens. I always seem to find the best colors, and I love that the fabric has a little bit of a worn-in look. Plus, it's cheap! This is a great option if you are a smaller size and are creative with your cutting. In this case, I had to cut perpendicular to the grain to get everything to fit.
I am absolutely in love with these shorts and plan to use the exact same modifications for a few more. I might even add a drawstring to the casing or try the bias binding I previously mentioned. It might even be cool to make a longer, straight-hemmed pair like some James Perse ones I saw recently.
What do you think? Is your shorts-game ready for summer?